Thursday, February 20, 2020

All The News That Tweets: Roger Stone Sentencing Edition

Jonathan Turley, who so far as I know has NO experience as a criminal prosecutor or defense attorney, was on NPR this morning complaining about the original sentencing recommendation of the DOJ.  It was, he claimed, too excessive.  Judge Jackson today didn't think so.

And in what could be a direct response to Professor Turley:

As I've said, never presume to know another lawyer's case better than that lawyer does.  I would also note here, for those who like the weeds of these matters, that Andrew Prokop provides tweets of the entire process of the Judge going through the sentencing guidelines and the offenses Stone was convicted on.  The tl;dr is that she ends, first, where the DOJ did, at first and, finally, in this hearing:

That she departed from that is, according to lawyers with experience in these matters on Twitter, not a surprise; nor an indication the Judge acted in any way except as a part of an independent judiciary.  And even the DOJ lawyer before the judge upheld the case made by the DOJ:

Is William Barr going to resign now?  Sure; and water is going to run uphill, too.  Still, things got interesting with Crabb, the lawyer who drew the short straw to appear in this hearing:

This is how that went:

Translated:  "I want to keep my job, Judge, and I just want to get out of here."  The Judge was wise enough to not shoot the hapless messenger.  And to her eternal credit, everything Judge Jackson said was aimed at blocking Trump from issuing a pardon, a power she doesn't have but would clearly like to, if only for this case.

But we should remember this is what judges do, and why our legal system relies on them:

Still, this is important:

Because the obvious sentiment behind it, aside from merely upholding the rule of law, is:  "Pardon this!"  Trump just found out he'd walked into a buzz saw.  Now he's waiting for FoxNews to tell him what to think. Meanwhile:

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